While her game evolved over her four years on Seymour’s tennis courts, one attribute remained the same for Emma Wood — winning.
The Owls senior capped a stellar tennis career with a record of 21-2 in the 2016 season playing both No. 1 singles and doubles.
She finishes with a combined record of 80-9 at Seymour, which is believed to be the second-highest win total and best winning percentage in school history.
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Wood, along with senior teammate Lindsey Hume, is one of two players to win a team sectional title all four years.
At the start of the season, Wood took the No. 1 singles spot for the Owls.
She and Hume lost just one match playing together the rest of the way.
Wood is the 2016 Jackson County Girls Tennis Player of the Year.
“I really enjoyed playing both singles and doubles,” Wood said. “I had a lot of fun playing with Lindsey. We never really got a chance to play together until this year. We both helped each other mentally on the court, keeping a positive attitude.”
While the Owls were knocked out of the regional championship, the No. 1 doubles tandem earned a chance to play in the individual sectional championship at Bloomington North.
Owls coach Jennifer Miller said Wood looked to contribute in any way she could this past season after making it all the way to the state’s Final Four in 2015.
“I think that she had a very successful season,” Miller said. “Her goal was to contribute to the team to win sectional again and be competitive in regional. She and Lindsey were a big part of that. She was able to win at both singles and doubles and have success at both. That’s tough to do, switching it mid-season.
“She was more consistent and took more of a leadership role. She was able to be more vocal. Her level of maturity was a big difference for her.”
Breaking it down, Wood said two parts of her game improved in 2016.
“My serving was more consistent this year. I put more spin on the ball and hit it less flat,” she said. “My backhand also improved a lot. I think it got better because last year, when I broke my collarbone, it forced me to hit a lot of left-handed shots.”
For Wood, a lot of the work went into the offseason in preparation for each spring.
“I think playing outside in tournaments really helped me,” she said. “I encourage others to play in tournaments to get better. Coming into high school, it helped me to be prepared for matches.”
Wood received a plethora of accolades following the season, including All-State honorable mention and a spot on the North-South All-Star team.
Miller said the team will miss Wood’s commitment to the program.
“I think that we’re going to miss being able to count on Emma to go out and play our best game every match,” she said. “We have some big shoes to fill. She loved the program so much and gave back to the younger players. It will be difficult to replace that.”
Wood will continue her tennis career at Marian University this fall.
She plans on studying elementary education.
“(Wood) has big things ahead of her,” Miller said. “I think she will contribute to their team with her personality and work ethic from the start. It will be a lot of fun to continue watching her play.”
Miranda McClusky, Brownstown Central, freshman
Accomplishments: All-Mid-Southern Conference honorable mention, eight wins.
Lindsey Hume, Seymour, senior
Accomplishments: All-State honorable mention, All-Hoosier Hills Conference, All-District 8, Academic All-State, North-South All-Star, part of sectional championship team, Owls Co-MVP, captain award, 22-1 record 2016.
Hallie Crenshaw, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: All-State honorable mention, All-District 8, All-HHC, part of sectional championship team, 16 wins.
Megan Baurle, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: All-State honorable mention, All-HHC honorable mention, All-District 8, part of sectional championship team, 16 wins.
Katie O’Mara, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: Part of sectional championship team, Owls most improved award, 19 wins.
Addie Rudge, Seymour, junior
Accomplishments: Part of sectional championship team, 20 wins.
Courtney Barker, Trinity Lutheran, sophomore
Accomplishments: Cougars Co-MVP, seven wins.
Laken Reynolds, Brownstown Central, Sophomore
Claudia Sibrel, Brownstown Central, freshman
Bridget Hall, Brownstown Central, freshman
Jordan Trowbridge, Brownstown Central, senior
Aurora Willman, Trinity Lutheran, senior
2016 Jackson County Girls Tennis Player of the Year
Emma Wood, Seymour, senior
2016 record: 21-2
Career record: 80-9
3-time All-Hoosier Hills Conference
3-time All-District 8
4-time sectional team championships
Academic All-State honorable mention
2015 IHSAA Final Four (doubles)
2-time Owls MVP
2-time Owls captain
Owls mental attitude award
“She loved the program so much and gave back to the younger players. It will be difficult to replace that.” — Seymour High School girls tennis coach Jennifer Miller on senior Emma Wood